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Falcon and Winter Soldier star’s MCU future hints at Avengers 5

Does Eli Bradley have a future in the MCU?

Eli Bradley’s time in the MCU is far from over. Actor Elijah Richardson made his debut in the MCU with a handful of minor appearances in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The grandson of Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), Eli’s presence in the Disney+ series immediately caught the attention of Marvel Comics readers everywhere, who took his appearance as another possible sign of a Young Avengers team-up coming to the MCU soon.

According to some new developments, that team-up may be coming sooner than you think.

The News — Elijah Richardson has been teasing a possible reprisal of the role on his social media. The actor posted about going on a trip to L.A. recently and shared an image of him leaving for the airport with his family, who were clad in Patriot (Eli’s superhero alias in the comics) merchandise. His family members even commented on the post by saying, “Congrats Patriot.”

The post gained attention online and Richardson subsequently deleted it from his Instagram, leading some fans to think that the actor could be flying to Los Angeles to begin work on another Marvel project.

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This isn’t the first time Richardson has hinted at his future in the MCU either. Just a few days ago, the actor teased on his Instagram that his role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier “may only be the beginning of Eli Bradley.”

Elijah Richardson in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.Marvel Studios

Eli Bradley and the Young Avengers — In the comics, Eli isn’t just Isaiah Bradley’s grandson. He’s also a superhero in his own right known as Patriot and happens to be one of the founding members of the Young Avengers. And Eli isn’t the only member of the Young Avengers who has either already appeared in the MCU or will appear very soon.

WandaVision introduced two other members of the Young Avengers in the form of Wanda’s twin sons, Tommy and Billy (Speed and Wiccan), while Hailee Steinfeld is set to play Kate Bishop, another Young Avenger, in Marvel’s upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ series. Kathryn Newton is also set to star as Cassie Lang a.k.a. Stature in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Xochitl Gomez will be making her MCU debut as America Chavez a.k.a. Miss America in next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

All of those characters have been members of the Young Avengers at some point in the Marvel comics, and their confirmed roles in the MCU have led many Marvel fans to speculate that a Young Avengers spin-off or team-up event of some kind is part of Marvel’s current plans for the cinematic universe — potentially even as the fifth Avengers movie.

Given Eli Bradley’s place in the team, it would make sense for Richardson to return in the role at some point in the near future. Granted, that’s assuming Eli is actually part of Marvel’s rumored Young Avengers plans, but there’s no reason to believe he isn’t at this point.

Patriot rushes into action.Marvel Comics

The Inverse Analysis — It’s entirely possible that Richardson isn’t actually flying to L.A. for a Marvel title, but could be starting work on (or having meetings about) a new, non-MCU project. And considering just how secretive Marvel is about its plans, it’s hard to know right now what exactly Richardson’s future looks like as Eli Bradley in the MCU — if he even has one.

That being said, Los Angeles plays host to several Marvel productions, including the upcoming Ant-Man and Captain Marvel sequels. Eli could appear in either one of these movies and have some meaningful Young Avengers crossover, whether with Cassie in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania or with Ms. Marvel in Captain Marvel 2.

What’s more, the sheer number of Young Avengers characters that are about to be in the MCU certainly suggests that Marvel is planning something with them. It’s hard to imagine the studio won’t be including Eli Bradley in those plans too, especially coming off his recent MCU debut in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is streaming now on Disney+.